Nordhausen, Nordpark

Klimatool for Open Spaces

Nordhausen-Nord is part of a complex network of interconnections between the densely built-up residential areas of Nordhausen and the productive cultural landscape at the foothills of the southern Harz mountains. The qualities present in this area between the city and the countryside form the spatial starting point for climate-friendly neighborhood development. Accordingly, the steep edges in the northeast of the district are to be made qualified and usable as a leisure, exercise, and hobby area for everyone, and the district's landscape reference is to be strengthened and developed into a livable, apartment-close open space. Extensive, sustainable designs with versatile offers are goals of the open space developments.

In the context of IBA Thüringen, the conversion of a large fallow and parking area into an intergenerational open space with a playground —the Nordpark— raises the question of how ecological concerns, as an important component of sustainability, can be practically measured. The LINNEA Landscape Architecture firm from Hanover has intensively studied the possibilities of reusing materials and climate-friendly construction methods and has modelled the CO₂ consumption for the project. The aim was to optimize the planning in all performance phases in a climate-friendly manner based on this foundation, document the results, and make them applicable for future open space planning—as a climate tool for open space. 

In the IBA understanding, sustainability means that projects are always developed multidimensionally. The conversion of the parking areas into a multifunctional and barrier-free Nordpark with a playground is of great importance for the district since there are only a few play and exercise options in the district, particularly for the age group of ten years and up. Public open space structures in this form are significant for attracting young families to the city district. The sustainability of the project also lies in the participatory design with the children and adolescents on-site. The intensive participation processes of the planning phase will also be implemented in the construction phase. Participation sites for children and adolescents are planned.

The resource-saving planning approach follows the principle: the more climate-friendly, the more sustainable. Thus, the barrier-free lounging and playing offers are surrounded by a robust and close-to-nature green fringe with high biodiversity. Numerous shade-giving and climate-adapted trees are planned, areas are decoupled, and the resulting rainwater is fully infiltrated on-site. Instead of always building new materials, the possibilities of reusing existing building materials are exploited: a bus stop is converted into a shelter for adolescents, old GDR concrete mast lights are upgraded to playful balancing elements, bulk materials such as gravel and concrete debris are reused. The Nordhausen city maintenance yard has also proven to be a treasure trove for concrete paving and natural stone curbs, which will be used for slope stabilization./p>

To meet climate goals, the project aims not only to mitigate the effects of climate change through climate-friendly construction methods and the reuse of materials but also to achieve maximum CO₂ reduction. The landscape architects from Hannover have determined the actual CO₂ consumption for the construction project and have developed a practical tool matrix to help design current and future outdoor spaces in a climate-friendly way. This is new territory, as concrete accounting as a basis for CO₂-saving construction has only been implemented in high sustainability standard construction projects, but not in landscape architecture. Additionally, the environmental product declarations (EPD) required for the calculation are still incomplete for this industry. Therefore, the Nordpark project will be the first to test the feasibility of CO₂ accounting for the entire manufacturing process, from planning through construction to maintenance, and examine measures for avoidance, reduction, and neutralization. At the same time, areas of action will become apparent that must be addressed by politics, science, and business, including changes to regulations for public tenders in favor of CO₂-saving materials and transport.

The IBA Nordpark project proves that open space design with high-quality leisure, play, and exercise facilities can also achieve ecological goals to a high degree. In addition to climate-friendly construction methods, it is crucial to deal intensively with the existing materials and plan for their reuse. The climate tool developed for this project is a useful tool to assess and maximize CO₂ reduction potential across all phases of the project. The effort for CO₂ calculations in the construction industry in general and landscape architecture, in particular, should become the standard for every construction project in the future. Publicly funded projects can take a leading role in establishing sustainability standards and CO₂ limits for outdoor space planning.


99734 Nordhausen

Project Sponsors

Stadt Nordhausen


IBA Project Manager

Kerstin Faber


Klimaregion Nordhausen im IBA Finale 2023
IBA Fachbeirat empfiehlt Kandidatenstatus für die Klimaregion Nordhausen

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